• 2019 Subaru Forester

    The Subaru Forester is defined by its modern appearance
  • The rear is even sporty and commanding
  • The side profile evokes authority and style
  • While sporty it can also look grown-up and propper
  • Notice how the rear fascia sticks away from the bumper?
  • The Headlights and corner bezels go well together
  • The headlights are sporty and bright
  • From the right angle they look sexy
  • And from this angle they look thin
  • The wheels aren't huge but with the right tires they fit nicely
  • It really doesn't sit as low as it looks, we swear
  • See, told you so
  • The sharp crease of the hood provides a lot of character
  • Typical Subaru badge
  • The mirrors are adequate but the black cladding could go away
  • The door handles are sleek and modern
  • Lots of detail inside the inner wheel well
  • It almost seems pointless but it's here too
  • The detail of the body cladding is impressive
  • The cladding here is a little excessive as well
  • It's perfect for protection here, though
  • Rear-View Camera hidden in the most common place
  • They look nice from a distance but up close the tailights are a little large
  • Front safety cameras aren't hidden very well
  • But it's a fair exchange for the added safety
  • The door trim panels are nicely sculpted
  • The control switches integrate smoothly
  • The seats provide ample support
  • and have an attractive stitching pattern
  • Subaru's attention to detail is astonishing
  • The plastic on the dash is a shame but forgivable
  • Thanks to the attractive layout
  • There's no all-digital option here
  • But the instrument cluster is sufficient and fairly attractive
  • The top digital display screen is pretty sweet
  • and it helps make up for the smaller infotainment screen
  • The analog HVAC controls are a little annoying, though
  • The shifter is comfortable and well centered
  • The rotary control is easy to use
  • Front passengers are given access to two USB ports
  • Don't need a key here at all
  • Your right thumb handles basic driving controls
  • Left thumb is for radio controls
  • Moonroof controls are right next to the emergency buttons
  • The rear view mirror is sufficient for its purpose
  • The moonroof provides plenty of fresh air
  • What's this guy doing down here?
  • Front passengers have decent legroom
  • Material definition is fairly okay
  • Rear seats are fairly comfortable but not as supportive as the front seats
  • Legroom is pretty decent, though
  • and they get their own HVAC vents
  • The rear door trim matches the front
  • Protective cladding
  • The rear cover does its job
  • With the seats in place, you can haul 35.4 cubic-feet of cargo
  • The rear seats feature a 70-30 split
  • With both sides down, cargo room increases to 76.1 cubic-feet!
  • Harmon\Kardon? Hell yes
  • Interior trim is of decent quality
  • Plenty of these little hooks everywhere
  • Under the hood sits a 2.5-liter four-cylinder
  • It's good for 182 horsepower
  • and 176 pound-feet of torque
  • all-wheel-drive is standard too
  • Our tester started out at $33,465

Is it the perfect weekend warrior?

Subaru went all in with the 2019 Forester, and it really paid off. When you add up the fresh, modern look, all that interior space, a little bit of extra power, and loads of updated safety tech, it’s hard not to be mesmerized by this amazing piece of machinery. Of course, looks and features are only half the story, though. What about the experience of being behind the wheel? How does the Forester handle quick maneuvers? How is it for long trips? Well, we spent some one-on-one time the 2019 Forester, and this is our experience.

Foreser Exterior

2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832836
The Subaru Forester is defined by its modern appearance
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832835
The rear is even sporty and commanding
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832834
The side profile evokes authority and style
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832833
Notice how the rear fascia sticks away from the bumper?
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832832
The door trim panels are nicely sculpted
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832779
But it’s a fair exchange for the added safety
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832778
Front safety cameras aren’t hidden very well
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832777
The Headlights and corner bezels go well together
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832776
The headlights are sporty and bright
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832775
From the right angle they look sexy
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832774
And from this angle they look thin
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832773
The wheels aren’t huge but with the right tires they fit nicely
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832771
See, told you so
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832770
The sharp crease of the hood provides a lot of character
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832769
Typical Subaru badge
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832768
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832766
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832765
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832764
The mirrors are adequate but the black cladding could go away
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832763
The door handles are sleek and modern
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832762
Lots of detail inside the inner wheel well
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832761
It almost seems pointless but it’s here too
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832760
The detail of the body cladding is impressive
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832759
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832758
The cladding here is a little excessive as well
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832757
It’s perfect for protection here, though
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832756
Rear-View Camera hidden in the most common place
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832755
They look nice from a distance but up close the tailights are a little large
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832754
It really doesn’t sit as low as it looks, we swear
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832752
While sporty it can also look grown-up and propper

Foreser Interior

2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832831
The control switches integrate smoothly
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832830
The seats provide ample support
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832829
and have an attractive stitching pattern
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832828
Subaru’s attention to detail is astonishing
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832827
The plastic on the dash is a shame but forgivable
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832826
Thanks to the attractive layout
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832825
There’s no all-digital option here
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832824
But the instrument cluster is sufficient and fairly attractive
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832823
The top digital display screen is pretty sweet
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832822
and it helps make up for the smaller infotainment screen
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832821
The analog HVAC controls are a little annoying, though
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832820
The shifter is comfortable and well centered
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832819
The rotary control is easy to use
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832818
Front passengers are given access to two USB ports
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832817
Don’t need a key here at all
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832816
Your right thumb handles basic driving controls
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832815
Left thumb is for radio controls
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832814
Moonroof controls are right next to the emergency buttons
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832813
The rear view mirror is sufficient for its purpose
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832812
The moonroof provides plenty of fresh air
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832811
What’s this guy doing down here?
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832810
Front passengers have decent legroom
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832809
Material definition is fairly okay
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832807
Rear seats are fairly comfortable but not as supportive as the front seats
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832806
Legroom is pretty decent, though
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832805
and they get their own HVAC vents
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832804
The rear door trim matches the front
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832803
Protective cladding
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832802
The rear cover does its job
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832801
With the seats in place, you can haul 35.4 cubic-feet of cargo
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832800
The rear seats feature a 70-30 split
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832799
With both sides down, cargo room increases to 76.1 cubic-feet!
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832798
Harmon\Kardon? Hell yes
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832797
Interior trim is of decent quality
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832796
Plenty of these little hooks everywhere
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832795
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832794

Drivetrain Specifications

2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832793
Under the hood sits a 2.5-liter four-cylinder
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832792
It’s good for 182 horsepower
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832791
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832790
all-wheel-drive is standard too
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832788
and 176 pound-feet of torque
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832785
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832784
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832783
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832782
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832781
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832780

Foreser Driving Impressions

2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832754
It really doesn’t sit as low as it looks, we swear

The Forester is not looking to please the most dynamic driver out there. You buy a Forester because you need something affordable, reliable and most importantly all-wheel-drive. But the Forester also offers its own special perks to the driver. First one being the incomparable greenhouse effect, that feeling of openness that only tall windows all around you can provide. Many buyers these days are going to SUVs for their higher seating position and commanding driving feel. But with the Forested you get all this without seating too high up and carrying a ton of weight around you. To describe it I’d say that it feels like a regular size sedan fitted with the roof of an SUV.

Adding to the good feel of openness, the interior feels great, especially when you think about the pricing of our top trims model at $33k.

The new interior design and choice of material are great. You can still feel the Subaru touch but improved in a good way. The two-tone interior in our tester looked nice and clean. The big sunroof brings tons of light. The only issue there is the sunshade is manual and it is not easy to push it all the way back, and even less to bring it back from all the way back there. But hey you have a nice panoramic sunroof!

2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832836
The Subaru Forester is defined by its modern appearance

Some ergonomic issues are worth mentioning.

The steering wheel controls are difficult to get used to.

So many buttons and all at very awkward places. I am not sure I need the steering wheel heater button, on the steering wheel. Then there are the entertainment centerS, yes with an S. There are two of them. They offer plenty of screen real estate but the logic on how to use them is just disturbing. I don’t even think the top screen is needed at all. As always you can get used to it, but the competition is doing it better.

The steering feel is good but the tall body and soft suspensions remind you that comfort is the top priority of this vehicle. Again you don’t buy this to drag race, and even less go to the track.

2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832820
The shifter is comfortable and well centered

Now let’s talk about the gearbox situation. The 2019 Forester engine is good, even surprisingly good for the size. Unfortunately, the CVT gearbox attached to it is a perfect example of why CVT have a bad reputation with enthusiasts.

The gearbox works perfectly if you drive like a slowpoke.

But when you need a little more power, the CVT behavior comes out. The now infamous ’rubber band effect’ is the best way to describe it. Picture this, the light turns green, you floor the gas pedal to the ground, the engine revs up to max rpm but you don’t feel acceleration right away, only after a second you feel the car accelerating, but slower than what the engine noise tells you, and then you really get going. But by then you have looked twice at your gauge cluster to see what the hell is going on with the engine noise until you remember you are driving a CVT and that all this is ’normal’.

I am very critical of the CVT, but I can understand why it is there. The Forester is targeting buyers who want to enjoy an affordable and practical all-wheel drive vehicle. And if you drive on poor pavement, under the snow this is certainly a great choice.

2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832755
They look nice from a distance but up close the tailights are a little large

I could not test the all-wheel-drive system in the nice Florida weather, but I really enjoyed my time driving the Forester. It felt very unique and cool in its own way. And if you are commuting to work or head to the grocery store at speed under 45mph like most of us, this is actually a very cool car to drive. And that word ’car’ is important because it doesn’t feel like a wagon or an SUV, and that is a good thing.

Pricing

2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832843
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832842
2019 Subaru Forester
- image 832841
Our tester started out at $33,465
What do you think?
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